In an ideal world, if you do get injured the attorney you hire is a rock star who has your back and you get to focus on your health and return to work. That’s certainly our goal when we take on a case.
Unfortunately not all cases go like that because there are a ton of attorneys who hate their job or just suck at it. So you end up with a lack of returned phone calls or an attorney who doesn’t do anything when your benefits get cut off or a lawyer who yells or lies, etc.
So if you do have to switch lawyers you want to get it right because while many firms are willing to be the second lawyer on a case, it’s much harder (although not impossible) to get someone to be the third firm on your case.
I recently got a call from someone asking me to be the third lawyer on their case. We didn’t take it because the conversation started with him telling me how stupid all attorneys are and how he is smarter than all of us. He also told me that his main goal was to get his previous attorney disbarred from practicing law. I’ve had others in similar situations tell me that they have thought about shooting up their company.
I understand how these cases can be emotional and I’m generally sympathetic of that, but of course not when it comes to going and hurting some innocent people. It’s tough when you are getting screwed over and the person you went to for help seems like they are working for the other side. Switching lawyers in that scenario is a good idea, but just as you have to want to hire an attorney, they have to want to work with you.
So here are some tips that can help you get the right firm to take over your case:
1. The new lawyer knows nothing about your case. Keep it simple. This is when I got hurt, this is my injury, this is the treatment I’ve had and this is the reason I’m thinking about switching about lawyers.
2. Keep it short. The new lawyer will ask questions that they want answered. If you want to switch lawyers because your current firm isn’t fighting for you, it’s enough to say “They haven’t done anything to get my benefits.” You don’t need to tell them 40 examples. We know who the bad firms are and if you have a good firm and it’s not going well, we will ask probing questions.
3. Be honest. Nothing makes me turn down a client quicker than catching them in a lie. We aren’t looking for a perfect story or perfect case. We are looking for people that we want to represent and can help.
4. Set expectations. If your last attorney hasn’t returned your calls for a month, ask the new lawyer about what you should expect for how long to hear back from them. If your benefits are suspended from an IME or some other reason, ask how long it will take to get your case ready for trial.
5. If you don’t have a good conversation or a good feeling with this new firm, don’t hire them. Talk to as many other firms as needed until you feel comfortable.
I hope this helps. I know it can be tough, but keep your eyes on your real goal which is to get the case going in the right direction. If you’d like to talk to us about what’s going on, please contact us at any time. We cover all of Illinois.